Friday, December 22, 2006

Bush pardons drug pushers and con men at year's end

I was just reading where Bush just granted clemency to a bunch felons convicted of drug pushing, mail fraud and other assorted low life crimes.

But not a word yet for the pardons of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Apparently, there is an Office of Pardons in this huge bloated bureaucracy of ours that forgot years ago it was established to serve the people

What does it take to break into the heart of our so-called "compassionate conservative" President? Maybe a candlelight vigil in front of the White House on Christmas eve?

Or maybe flooding the telephone and fax lines of the "Office of Pardons" demanding a pardon for Ramos & Compean, two great Border patrol agents who have become victims of the political maneuvering between the U.S. & Mexico.

Continue to send email letters to President Bush and, maybe a call or fax to the Office of Pardon listed below:

Pardon Attorney Roger C. Adams
Office of the Pardon Attorney
1425 New York Avenue, N.W.
Suite 11000
Washington, D.C. 20530
tel.: (202) 616-6070
fax: (202) 616-6069

The Office of the Pardon Attorney, in consultation with the Attorney General or his designee, assists the President in the exercise of executive clemency as authorized under Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution. Under the Constitution, the President's clemency power extends only to federal criminal offenses. All requests for executive clemency for federal offenses are directed to the Pardon Attorney for investigation and review. The Pardon Attorney prepares the Department's recommendation to the President for final disposition of each application. Executive clemency may take several forms, including pardon, commutation of sentence, remission of fine or restitution, and reprieve.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Ramos-Compean Affair: What really happened.

By Joe Loya

My name is Joe Loya and I am the father- in- law of Border Patrol agent Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Ramos.

There are plenty of versions of what actually took place when two Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, tried to chase down a drug smuggler in El Paso. But, unless you were there; unless you were present for the fifteen day trial; unless you paid $6,000.00 to read the 3000 pages of transcripts; unless you spoke with their fellow officers; unless you saw the affidavits from jurors who claimed that they were bullied into going along with the conviction, you cannot appreciate the enormity of this outrage.

Please listen to my story and then, please, do everything you can to persuade President Bush to issue an immediate pardon to these two fine agents.

What really happened? Basically, two Border Patrol agents, attempting to interrupt a cross-border drug smuggling operation, fired their weapons in self-defense at an admitted illegal alien, drug smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila. The smuggler managed to escape across the border into Mexico, but he left his vehicle, loaded with more than 700 pounds of marijuana. It was another good bust. (Agent Ramos has taken part in more than 100 drug busts and has never hurt anyone, despite having been assaulted and fired upon many times.)

Davila surfaced again a month later with the help of his life-long friend, Border Patrol agent Rene Sanchez, stationed in Willcox, Arizona. Davila was also assisted by Homeland Security agent Christopher Sanchez in El Paso, who started an investigation into the case. Somehow, they managed to get Debra Kanof, Chief Prosecutor for Major Crimes with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Justice Department involved. (How or why someone at this level would want to escalate and aggressively prosecute two outstanding BP agents for administrative policy violations is a whole other story.)

Kanof acted swiftly, handing out immunities to anybody who would testify against Ramos or Compean. She also provided the drug smuggler with free medical attention at William Beaumont Army Hospital in El Paso and free passage back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico, not bad treatment for an illegal alien and known drug smuggler. Kanof alleged that the smuggler was an innocent person who was shot by the agents as he ran away from them, fearing the agents were trying to beat him up.

The details. With Ramos and Compean in hot pursuit of this drug smuggler, Davila was forced to ditch his van loaded with 743 lbs of marijuana. In attempting to escape, Davila assaulted and cut BP agent Jose Alonso Compean and left him on the ground bleeding. While Compean was chasing Davila on foot, Ramos had been trying to outflank Davila to cut off his escape into Mexico.

Hearing gun shots and calls for help from his fellow agent, Ramos raced to the scene and found Compean on the ground bleeding. He saw Davila racing towards the Rio Grande, about to cross into Mexico and escape.

Agent Ramos began to chase after the smuggler who had just assaulted his fellow officer. Then the smuggler turned and pointed something at Ramos that he believed was a gun. The time was approximately 1:15pm. It was broad daylight. Ramos, fearing for his life and believing that Davila had already been shooting at his fellow officer, took a single shot at the smuggler. At this time, nobody knew that the smuggler had been wounded.

The smuggler turned back towards the border and kept running. He disappeared into the tall, thick brush along the river. Later, Davila was spotted running across the dry river bed and jumping into a waiting vehicle with two other suspects. This was witnessed by four Border Patrol agents, documenting that Davila was not some “innocent” illegal alien, but a bona fide drug smuggling operation. The three smugglers took off and the agents walked back to the abandoned van where they discovered the 743 pounds of marijuana.

BP supervisor, Jonathan Richards, who had arrived on the scene, was very angry that the smuggler had gotten away. Richards ordered everyone to report to the station. He also told them to load the 743 lbs of marijuana onto their vehicles and take it to the station.

Richards never went across the canal to investigate the assault or to check on agent Compean. Ramos and another agent, named Yrigoyen later testified they told Richards that Compean had been assaulted. At the station, another agent, Mendez, stated that Compean had cuts on his face and hand. He said this in the presence of Supervisor Richards. This is significant because Richards denied having any knowledge of Compean’s injuries.

The BP supervisor lied on the witness stand, testifying that no one told him Compean had been assaulted, which is his excuse for never notifying the F.B.I. of this fact. The truth is that he offered Compean medical attention and had asked Compean several times if he was OK. The physical evidence was apparent as Compean was cut and covered with dirt. Richard's failure to notify the F.B.I. of the assault is the reason why the case was never investigated.

Because of the supervisor’s actions, none of the agent's filled out firearms discharge reports. This administrative policy violation calls for a five day suspension without pay. After checking again on Compean’s condition and asking him if he wanted to file assault charges, according to testimony, Richards then made a statement saying, “If we call the F.B.I. we are going to be here all night doing paperwork. We will never know who the person was that assaulted you although we've got the van and the marijuana." After than, everyone went back to work.

The Arrest. In a dramatic display of overkill, the two BP agents, Ramos and Compean, were arrested by SWAT teams, armed with automatic weapons, at their homes. They were roughed up by the arresting officers before handcuffing them. And all of this was done in front of their families, including their young children.

They were charged with attempted murder, indicted, placed under house arrest for eight long months; tried and convicted by overzealous, unethical and vicious prosecutors who were certainly not out for justice, but for reasons that, someday, hopefully, will become clear.

During their time in jail, awaiting their trial, Ramos and Compean were offered plea bargains approximately eight times. The last offer came five weeks before trial. That offer was for one year in prison and reimbursement to the government for the $35,000 in medical bills for the treatment of the drug smuggler.

Kanof continued to pile up counts against them until the agents were facing 40 years to life because of the count stacking. They rejected the plea bargain because they knew they were innocent and they had faith in our country’s legal system. Had they been guilty, they would have taken those plea bargain offers in a heart beat.

The trial. The prosecutor, Debra Kanof said that all Davila was trying to do was get back home to Mexico. She said the agents never should have chased him, because they did not know what was in the van. (Doesn’t spotting a van crossing the Mexican border into the U.S., illegally, count as probably cause to warrant interdiction by the BP?)

The supervisor, clearly under pressure from Major Crimes Prosecutor Kanof, testified that he knew nothing of the pursuit, even though he had been on the scene and had been inspecting the van with several other agents.

At the trial, the drug smuggler claimed that Compean fired 5 or 6 shots at him. During the trial, the prosecution upped that number to 16 shots.

The story Davila told the Justice Department was that he was walking across from Mexico (illegally) when Ramos and Compean tried to beat him up. Although under oath, he changed his story many times during the trial. He finally admitted that he was paid $1000.00 to bring the load to an El Paso stash house after he was given immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony against the two agents.

Davila claimed that he was shot in the back as he fled back to Mexico. The U.S. Army doctor who removed the bullet fragment from the smuggler's right groin disagreed. Although he was testifying as a government witness, he told the truth and stated, "The smuggler was not shot from behind". "He was in a running position, (bladed position) and pointing back with his left arm and hand when the bullet hit his left side of his left buttock and traveled to his right groin.

The prosecution then suggested that he may have been shot as he was running across and not away from agent Ramos. The doctor disagreed and so he was quickly dismissed by the prosecution.

The Bottom Line. The two agents were sentenced to 11 and 12 years in federal prison, respectively, on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and for violation of the drug smuggler's civil rights. They were charged with 11 and 12 counts, respectively, because every time they rejected Kanof’s offer to plea bargain, she would become furious and dream up more counts against them.

In less than six weeks, two brave, honest and dedicated young agents, who have risked their lives for many years arresting illegal aliens, human smugglers and drug smugglers, will be sent off to prison, while Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, a known drug dealer goes free.

While my family is suffering emotional trauma and financial disaster, this low-life drug smuggler is laughing at the Border Patrol and planning to sue them for $5 million dollars.

Our family is already in debt more than $100,000 in legal fees. We are right on the edge of financial disaster and, yet, if these agents are not pardoned, we will have to raise the funds necessary to pay for the appeal to get a new, fair trial.

If you wish to make a contribution to help Agent Ignacio Ramos, please make your check payable to Ignacio Ramos and mail it directly to the family at Ignacio Ramos, P.O. BOX 972925, El Paso, TX 79997.

Thank you.

More information on this outrageous miscarriage of justice can be found on the following websites:

FREE Border Patrol agent "Nacho" Ignacio Ramos

U.S. Border Control’s Ramos-Compean blog

Go to U.S. Border Control’s Legislative Action Center to send an email to President Bush demanding he pardon agents Ramos and Compean

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Review of the Ramos-Compean Incident

How is it that our president will sign a bill that provides amnesty for illegal aliens, but will let two Border Patrol agents go to prison for performing their duty?

Ignacios Ramos and Jose Compean are going to have to serve prison time if the President doesn’t give them pardons, and this will occur again if the system is not changed concerning rules of engagement for those who are guarding our borders.

In case you have forgotten, here are the facts:

1 - On February 17th, 2006, Border Patrol agents Ignacios Ramos and Jose Compean noticed a suspicious van near the Rio Grande river.

2 - The van was being driven by Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, a Mexican national illegally crossing our border and smuggling 743 pounds of marijuana into the United States.

3 - When the illegal drug smuggler saw agents Ramos and Compean, he ran for the border. The agents heard gun shots while pursuing Davila on foot.

4 - According to media reports, Davila at one point turned toward the pursuing agents and pointed what appeared to be a gun. The border agents fired their weapons at the fleeing drug smuggler.

5 - Davila was hit in the buttocks, although Compean and Ramos did not know it at the time because Davila didn’t even slow down. He jumped into a waiting van and sped off in the night.

What happened next should enrage all Americans, and as The New American stated:

Incredibly, while agents Ramos and Compean and their families face economic ruin, emotional devastation, and real physical danger, as a result of that 15-minute chase, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila – an admitted felon and drug smuggler – has not only gotten off scot-free, he stands to become a rich man, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers.

In a seemingly unbelievable turn of events, agents for the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security contacted the smuggler in Mexico and offered him complete immunity if he would testify that the Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean had violated his civil rights.

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and this story is a prime example. Johnny Sutton, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, charged the two law enforcement officers with (1) Causing serious bodily injury; (2) Assault with a deadly weapon; (3) Discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence; (4) violating the civil rights of an illegal immigrant.

At the trial, the prosecutor dismissed Ramos’ testimonly that he saw “something shiny” in Davila’s hand. She, the prosecutor, then stated:

…couldn’t be sure it was a gun he had seen.

In other words, law enforcement officers are to wait until they are shot at, injured, before they are allowed to use their firearms?

Also, the prosecutor said it was a violation of a Border Patrol policy for agents to pursue dope dealers on the run. She explained this statement:

Agents are not allowed to pursue. In order to exceed the speed limit, you have to get supervisor approval, and they did not.


Agent Ramos had an excellent record during his ten-year service as a Border Patrol officer and was nominated for the Agent of the Year award, and stated:

How are we supposed to follow the Border Patrol strategy of apprehending terrorists or drug smugglers if we aren’t supposed to pursue fleeing people? Everybody who’s breaking the law flees from us. What are we supposed to do? Do they want us to catch them or not?

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean deserve to be commended, not charged by our government with violating civil rights of a non-citizen and drug smuggler. Our system is bankrupt and it is time to fix it, as well as our nonsensical foreign policy with Mexico.

And, did the jury of 12 decide they were guilty? The answer is no. Three jurors stated after the trial that their choice was not guilty. Robert Gourley, Claudia Torres and Edine Woods say they were told the verdict had to be unanimous, which was false.

The three jurors signed sworn affidavits that they had been incorrectly instructed as jurors. In addition, other jurors intimidated jurors to change their votes. One juror said he thought that 10 years in prison was excessive punishment. Another mentioned the jury foreman:

I felt like he knew something about the judge that we did not know. I did not think that Mr. Ramos or Mr. Compean was guilty of the assaults and civil rights violations.

Defense attorney, Mary Stillinger, after finding out about the statements made by the jurors, asked that the verdict be set aside, but the judge denied the motion.

The plight of these agents is not over. Please click here to send an e-mail the President and tell him to use his power of presidential pardon, per the United States Constitution in Article II, Section 2, to pardon agents Ramos and Compean.

The American people must not tolerate the imprisonment of two patrol agents who did nothing more than their job. This is a wrong that must be made right. In addition to the pardon, we should demand that those agents receive any back pay due and be reinstated in their position as agents for their pain and unnecessary suffering of themselves and their families.

Please take a moment from your lives and help these two fellow Americans. If you have noticed, they both have last names that are Spanish and they represent the melting pot of immigrants and ancestry that represents the good side of immigration – legal immigration. We must not turn our backs on them or forget them. The agents are American citizens, fellow Americans, who require our support.
Department of Justice Claims to be "Unaware" of Congressional Request to Investigate the Prosecution of Two Border Patrol Agents

During the last year, Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean were criminally prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to serve years in prison for doing their job - protecting America from drug and illegal alien smugglers at our southern border. Those who have been following the case with us have been dismayed at the injustice of criminally prosecuting border patrol agents while granting immunity to a drug smuggler, who was carrying 743 pounds of marijuana into the U.S., to testify against the agents. The smuggler - who received medical care at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas - is now suing the Border Patrol for $5 million for violating his civil rights.

For months multiple organizations have been working with members of Congress to raise awareness of this case. One member who has been leading the charge is Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC). Over the past four months, Congressman Jones has written seven letters to the Bush administration regarding the Ramos and Compean case: three to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, one to Press Secretary Tony Snow, and three to President Bush himself.

Indeed, one of the letters sent to Attorney General Gonzales was signed by 22 members of Congress; another by six members. However, during a radio interview on The Keith Larson Show (WBT Charlotte) this week, Attorney General Gonzales stated that he was "unaware" of the Congressman's letters.

However it may be that Attorney General Gonzales has not seen these letters, this inattention to the plight of two Border Patrol agents who risked their lives daily to protect our country from smugglers bringing drugs, guns, and illegal aliens into our country is unacceptable.

Agents Ramos and Compean have been ordered to surrender to federal authorities on January 17th, 2007 to begin serving their prison sentences.

Please call Attorney General Gonzales and ask him to recommend to President Bush that these agents be pardoned! You can reach the Office of the Attorney General at 202-353-1555.

Border Agents Betrayed

I am starting this blog, which I hope will be closed soon, in order to raise awareness of the plight of two Border Patrol agents who have been caught in the crossfire between politics and the battle on the border.

What you need to know is that both are hard-working Border Patrol agents who are being sacrificed by the Bush administration in order to gain favor with the illegal alien community and to mend fences (pun intended) with the Mexican government who are still upset that Bush failed to deliver on his promise of amnesty for 20 million illegal aliens.

In a trial that you would expect to see in some banana republic like Mexico, not the U.S., these two men were charged by federal prosecutors with the most ridiculous "crimes; were rushed to a trial where the jurors were lied to repeatedly; and are now about to be sent to prison!

What kind of crimes am I speaking of? How about going over the speed limit while in hot pursuit of a drug smuggler with 700 pounds of marijuana? Their crime as not calling in to a supervisor for permission to exceed the speed limit. (I am not making this up)

Anther "criminal violation" was when one officer fired at the drug dealer after seeing his partner on the ground bleeding and seeing the escaping drug smuggler turn towards him as if to fire. What was he supposed to do? Take a bullet?

And while it is true that these absurd "rules of engagement," no speeding and no chasing criminals attempting to escape into Mexico, are, in fact, the rules laid down by the Bush Administration, to obey them means to surrender our borders to drug dealers, illegal aliens and terrorists. And now you know why are borders are totally out of control.

As a matter of course, most Border Patrol agents ignore these assinine rules so they can do their job; catch the bad guys and protect the communities along the border who would be in great peril without the efforts of these courageous agents.

Please visit our site to learn more about this case. If you want to help them with a contribution, please make your check payable to Ignacio Ramos and mail it directly to their family at Ignacio Ramos, P.O. BOX 972925, El Paso, TX 79997. (Beware: there are fraudulent websites seeking to cash in on this tragedy)